Thursday, December 30, 2010


I have been visiting Vinyl Fever ever since I move down to Tampa in 2004 so I was saddened by the news that the store will be closing in February. To say that I was surprised, it is a very different thing.  Like every regular at the store must have noticed over the past couple of years, the line at the counter was often of one to zero. Quite frankly, I was surprised they stuck around for this long. And I was even more surprised that they kept on stocking some of the finest music.
Vinyl Fever was the first music store I visited in Tampa. My girlfriend first took me there when I flew in from New York in February of 2004. A couple of weeks later, after I made the move down south, I became a regular.  
For a long time, while I was pretty broke, the $.99 bin provided enough fodder to fuel the Tales From the Cutout Bin features I used to ran in Deaf Sparrow.   I could tell that some of the music critics from Creative Loafing and other local papers used to sell their promo CD’s there, because I was often able to find new releases marked as promos in the used bin, where prices varied from $3.99 to $4.99. I must have bought at least sixty records from that section in the span of eight months. About three years ago, while their hard music expert moved out of Tampa, the clerks were pretty clueless about these styles, so oftentimes I encountered brand new metal releases from cool independent labels in this section.
But best of all was their new CD and vinyl racks. What you found there you could not find anywhere else in the Bay Area. I frequent all the record stores in Tampa Bay and as a hard music fan the closing of this store is going to be a big blow. Bananas in St. Petersburg may be huge, but I spent an hour there a few months back and I could not find one good metal record. I don’t even know if they sell new releases. Everyone in the store looked over 70 so they probably aren’t aware that bands and labels still put out vinyl. Daddy Kool? Not so cool if you like metal or hardcore, or anything hard. And Mojo? They have a ton of vinyl but their new release section is tiny and the dude that works there acts like a little bitch. Ditto for Sound Exchange. They have three locations and you can sometimes find some good deals but new releases? Not really.
That’s where Vinyl Fever came in; gorgeous reissues of Goatsnake? Check. Belus by Burzum? Check. Available in CD and vinyl, by the way. Master’s Hammer? Say What? Yes, they had it. They fucking had it.  Midnight? Sure thing.
Where else in the Bay Area could you go and find brand new releases by labels like Feral Ward, Profane Existence, Southern Lord and Nuclear War Now?   Nowhere. That’s where. Sure, the store did not specialize in hard underground music, but sifting through their vinyl and cd racks you were always prone to find great stuff.
Last Monday, when my friend informed that the store was closing down and that all their stock was 30% off I got mixed feelings. On one hand I was happy because I had a gift card for $50 that somebody gave me for christmas and on the other, I was sad because the store would no longer be the momentary refuge that it has been for the past years.
In September of this year Rolling Stone Magazine elected Vinyl Fever among the Top 25 record stores in the country. Too bad that did not translate into sales. Everyone knows what the issue is. Technology. Economy. Mix the two and you have an atomic bomb targeting this business model. With their location lease expiration date approaching, the owner of the store argues that it makes no sense to renew it. Who can blame him? Not me.  

BUZZOV•EN Announce February Tour

Continuing to devastate America one tour at a time, sludgemongers BUZZOV•EN today announce their third tour installment since reuniting early in the year. Hitting all new markets throughout the Southern and Southeastern US this time, the band will hit the old dusty trail again in early February with Virginia’s sludgesters Cough providing direct support. Confirmed appearances on this newly announced rampage are as follows:

BUZZOV•EN Winter 2011 Tour:
2/04/2011 Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC w/ Cough
2/05/2011 The Jinx – Savannah, GA w/ Cough
2/07/2011 Siberia – New Orleans, LA w/ Cough
2/08/2011 Walters on Washington – Houston, TX w/ Cough
2/09/2011 Trees – Dallas, TX w/ Cough
2/10/2011 Downtown Music – Little Rock, AR w/ Cough
2/11/2011 Hi Tone – Memphis, TN w/ Cough
2/13/2011 Southgate House – Newport, KY w/ Cough
2/15/2011 Canal Club – Richmond, VA w/ Cough
2/16/2011 Casbah – Durham, NC w/ Cough

Monday, December 27, 2010

SLAYER #20 + Morbid 12" Out Now

Description by Metalion Slayer Mag.
Interviews and articles with:

WHIPLASH (Tony Scaglione)
BATHORY (several interviews and reviews in a somewhat big tribute feature)
666 (Norway)
as well as other more or less familiar features.

This issue also contains a A2 poster of Jon Nødtveidt with the actual cover for SLAYER XX on the reverse side.

This issue also comes with a mini LP by Swedish legends MORBID, the mini LP is called “Ancient Morbidity”, a statement from the band concerning the tracks on this “12 (From the interview in SLAYER XX BLOOD FIRE DEATH)

Tell us why those tracks was chosen for the “Ancient Morbidity” release? Is it important to know the exact origin of the tracks for instance?
- We wanted to offer something special to SLAYER MAGAZINE of course, so we dug deep into closets to get stuff that has never been released before – and pulled out some raw early stuff. “Tragic Dream” was a weird lullaby-esque track that Dead liked a lot, I think it was one of those things that Gehenna came up with when he was drunk and Dead then bugged him remember the riffs when he was sober. “Tragic Dream” was later on used as an intro to “Disgusting Semla”, but originally it was used as a beginning to “From the Dark”. The track “From the Dark” went through many many different arrangements, and all four guitarists contributed to it various ways. It proved very difficult to arrange, and one member even claim it should have been divided into three songs! This is an early recording, and as such it differs quite a lot from later versions. This version of “Wings of Funeral” predates the contributions later made by Napoleon Pukes, such as the guitar intro to the track that was added on “December Moon”. The live track “Necrodead” is taken from the very first gig (Ultrahuset April 26 1987), it is an encore version that never has been released and that will never be released anywhere else but through this SLAYER MAGAZINE release… The “12 is finished off with some true words spoken by the one and only Dead. It is taken from a SCAPEGOAT recording done by Dead and Gehenna - presumably in the bed room or something, (SCAPEGOAT later turned into MORBID) and is most likely recorded in ‘85.

The front cover is a slightly altered version of Dead’s suggestion for cover for the reunion “7 that was planned to be recorded upon his return in ‘91. The back of the cover is Dead’s poster for the cancelled reunion gig, that Dead and I tried to pull together in ‘89. Both back and front have been skillfully retouched by Erik Danielsson. The insert has the original art work by Dead.

A side:
Tragic Dream/From the Dark

B side:
Wings of Funeral

I’m of course extremely proud that MORBID had chosen SLAYER MAGAZINE to present this “12 so I feel I come to full circle with this.

100 pages, a lot of sadistkly exekuted artwork and personal photos.

Erik Danielsson not only did the the design of the MORBID “12 but also the front and back design of SLAYER XX as well as contributing several written pieces.
It has been a rough road putting all this pieces together, I took a break from all the activities concerning the magazine and I thought it would be all over……… I did decide that SLAYER 19 didn’t completely live up to be the last issue, so I wanted it to end in a proper way……..Don‘t know if it is better but at least I feel better about it………

Comparing it to other issues I never cared about, I just make what I make at my best way possible. Sometimes t is good and sometimes it is shit, but you can never know that when you are creating it………. Still, if you thought SLAYER was shit in the past this will not change your mind, it is SLAYER with all the errors, shitty journalism etc. Even if if it has been over six years since the last issue I don’t think anything could change that……….And don’t expect any new issues anytime soon - I feel like its all over……..truly an ending in flames. Finishing some of the pieces have taken an outstanding amount of time and to get into that process again is very unlikely.

I hope this lives up to expectations. I just purchased my copy for $27 and the only shipping available costs $15.30 for a total of $42.30.  I'll let you know if I feel like a sucker when I receive it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Record Shopping Online - Does It Have to Be So Hard?

I was just doing a few searches the other day, seeing if I could find a few bargains online in some of the most well-known websites when I mistyped 'Hell's HeadBangers' (I was missing the e in Bangers) and got this Nuclear War Now result. Who knew one letter could yield the competition, but Google served me a link to the Nuclear War Now forum so I clicked it. I don't really waste much time in forums. Maybe it is my age. Maybe I find most of the info exchange to be a waste of time. Maybe both.

From the forum I jumped to NWN's webstore. I have been there a number of times and I have bought a few records from that label in the past. Usually on sale vinyl and CD's all of which are priced at  an affordable $5, but mostly, I have spent a lot of time packing my shopping cart with obscure records and then dropping out after seeing the high costs of shipping. Twice I have been on the verge of spending close to $100 but have been forced to drop out after NWN's system rejects my gift cards. On this particular day, once again I could not bring myself to pay for the exaggerated shipping costs for a couple of CD's so I decided to do accurate typing and flip over to Hell's Headbangers, who by the way, a few weeks ago sent me two copies of their fanzine/catalog. Nice. As a token of my appreciation and as originally planned, I decided to spend some of my hard-earned cash there instead.

The cool thing about Hell's Headbangers is that as soon as you get into their website you are welcomed by what looks like a few unbeatable offers; 5 LP's for $60, Buy $66 Get a Free CD, 10 CD's for $50 and More Specials Inside. The uncool thing about Hell's Headbangers is that once you get into their store the only visible sale I could see was Buy 3 CD's Get 1 Free. In fine print it reads, On Select Titles. On Select Titles by the way, means Hell's Headbangers releases only. Here, most CD's are priced between $8.00 and $9.00. Quite expensive after spending time on Nuclear War Now's store. To get to the offers you have to actually click on the box on the right that is titled FREE / OFFERS. On this particular day I did not see that box.

Disappointed, I decided to go to the web store on Once there I clicked on the tiny link on the right that says SALE ITEMS. At one point in time the Relapse website was considered cutting edge. Especially among metal websites, which tended and still tend to look like shit. Nowadays, Relapse's webstore looks dated as fuck, with tiny icons doing little justice to artwork and an annoying tendency to freeze, time out and / or go to dead pages But have patience. It might pay off. While going through the 104 pages of sale items on this particular day I finally encountered two records for very good prices.

The first record I bought was the vinyl version of Children's Hard Times Hanging At the End of the World, which is a totally competent thrash metal record. Flawless musicianship. Atypical long songs for the genre. Heavy early Metallica influence. I am afraid this band may be getting the cold shoulder from the metal community for being signed to Kemado which is seen as a label of hipsters or some shit. This 12 inch cost me $6. I could not believe it. For a while I though it was a mistake. Especially considering that this record is quite new, released in 2009.

The second record I bought was He Visto la Cruz Al Reves by Spain's Moho. I was very familiar with this band because I reviewed their Chotacabra album in Deaf Sparrow back in 2008. This one dates from 2006 and was edited in gatefold version by Spain's Throne Records. Price? $6. Not bad. Not bad at all. I recommend it to anyone who likes thick sludge and angry doom.

All in all, I must have spent two hours searching for something to buy. I had nothing specific in mind but knew that I did not want to go broke. It was frustrating at times.  Not being able to find good records. Overpriced items. Websites that do not work well. Rejected gift card numbers. Offers that are impossible to find. The possibility of errors is endless.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DEATH Comes to CALIFORNIA - New Recording Out in January

Death is the three Hackney brothers, fueled by the raucous sounds of Iggy & Co., creating their own take on the emerging sounds of punk. Socially conscious lyrics mixed with a sky-cracking combination of guitar and vocals, all recorded in raw fashion with little in the way of polish. In the last year, Death have stunned audiences in New York, Detroit, Chicago and Austin and now it's your turn California! For the first time (ever), Death comes to Los Angeles and San Francisco. You won't want to miss this for a second!

Death's 2009 critically claimed release For The Whole World to See... took the music world by storm with headlines such as "Death was Punk Before Punk was Punk" (Mike Rubin, New York Times) and quotes such as "a wild and exhilarating garage rock album from the 1970s, with a backstory of such mythological heft that it seems, initially at least, implausible." (John Mulvey, Uncut) Peter Margasak of the Chicago Reader says "The oldest of the brothers, guitarist David, pushed the group in a hard-rock direction that presaged punk, and while this certainly didn't help them find a following in the mid-70s, today it makes them look like visionaries." Filter Magazine quotes Mos Def saying: "These dudes were pre-Sex Pistols, pre-Bad Brains, pre-all that shit, and nobody knows them. I don't understand how the whole w
orld could forget them."

Detroit rockers Death have a new collection of demo recordings coming out in January. This musical archive consists of nine raw demo tracks, recorded in Detroit Michigan from 1974 to 1976. Seven of the songs, were recorded in The Room on a two track reel to reel stereo recorder. Two of the songs were recorded at Groovesville Studios and one song was recorded at the legendary United Sounds recording studio. Many of the tracks on this project served as pre-production for Death's pivotal album ...For The Whole World To See. This particular collection of demos and out-takes is a wonderful journey through the early (and late) stages of Death. The tracks are raw, untouched and just the way they were meant to be heard. So turn on your mind, close your eyes and enjoy this wild, wild trip. The story about how Bobby came across these tapes in Detroit last summer is incredible. Almost as incredible as it's going to be to see Death in San Francisco and Los Angeles with amazing support such as Sic Alps (tbc), RTX and Zolar X.

Friday, February 25, 2011 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's w/ Zolar X
Saturday, February 26, 2011 - Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex w/ RTX

This isn't the Florida death metal band, for all those dumbasses...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Couldn't Sleep Last Night - FRENCH HORROR FILMS

Couldn’t sleep Sunday night so I decided to finish off Trouble Every Day, a movie I picked from Netflix because I liked the title. I have been into French horror ever since I saw In My Skin about four years ago, and I would not call Trouble Every Day a horror movie, but I would not lump it into any other genre either. For starters, Trouble Every Day is quite gory and disturbing and for enders it stars Vincent ‘I am good looking in Europe’ Gallo, who in his personal style doesn’t have much to say and instead, tells you all you need to know with his psychopath eyes.

In the beginning I was not all that into it, maybe because it was late and I was half thinking about Monday but slowly I fell into its spell. The pace is slow. The soundtrack, though played and repeated about a dozen times, is beautiful and there is very little dialogue, all of which gives the film certain passive fascination. It is quite enthralling, to say the least. Especially for those into morbid stuff.

The plot goes something like this; black haired chick with freaky mouth likes to eat men. Literally, she gorges on their faces like a hungry hyena. She picks them up on the road where she lures them with sex and then eats them. Then, her doctor husband finds her exhausted lying in the middle of nowhere, takes her home and locks her in while he goes to work. 

There are two horny young boys who are infatuated with her. They look at her peeking from her window and decide to break into the house. When they reach her she lures one of them into her bed while tonguing his face off. Horny French dude thinks he is going to get laid but instead she ravages his face with the fury of a lion. The scene is pretty cool. She goes all out and munches on his skin in a pretty animalistic way. He dies. There is quite a bit of blood.

At the same time Gallo and his gorgeous fiancé are on a trip to Paris. Honeymoon or something. They look at each other. Then, they look at each other some more. She takes a bath. He looks at her. Maybe he can’t get it up so to remedy that he ends up at the doctor’s house, where he encounters the bloody face muncher who is walking down the stairs. The scene is wicked. The sight of Core (that’s her name) all covered in blood is classic. Fearing for his life, he kills her. Then, burns her body. 

That’s about it really. Not much in the way of plot, thrills or suspense. Just blunt violence, blood, skin peeling and meditative passages where people look at each other. And then they look at each other some more. But that’s about all I need. Who said we needed brains in our horror? I didn’t. And the critics absolutely hated this movie. They said it lacks thrills and humor and I have got to agree with that but if you are into French movies then most likely you don’t mind movies that lack humor and thrills anyway. This is so French. With lots of blood for a change.

Trouble Every Day is set in Paris. Paris is located in France. And France has released some of the best horror movies of the last ten years. Some are calling it New French Extremity, I say, Japanese horror movies are for two year olds. Here are my favorites: 

Calvaire – Known as The Ordeal in the US, this is actually a Belgian film but is in French so fuck it. I took this one out of the public library. Had zero expectations and was violently surprised. Marc is a one man traveling circus. When his van breaks he ends up in a strange neck of the woods and is forced to stay a night in an Inn located where there is seemingly no one and everyone there is a weirdo. There is a killer musical scene at the tavern. 

In My Skin – Not a horror movie, but pretty sick. My girlfriend was twisting and got squeamish after scene after scene of self mutilation. Weird chick likes to eat herself. She peels her skin then eats it. Has fantasies about cutting her arm. Wicked stuff. 

Frontiers - One of the most brutal movies I have seen in a while. So much blood and guts and it is all so colorful. So much attention to detail. A group of friends escape Paris and end up in an Inn ran by Neo Nazis. The term extreme violence needs to be redefined after this movie.

Inside - For some reason, I tend to confuse this title with Woody Allen's Interiors. This is one of my favorites of the batch. There is no shortage of gore.  Very claustrophobic and atmospheric. Most of the movie takes place in a townhouse. It is late at night and there are only so many rooms to hide. Pregnant lady wants to save her unborn creature. Crazy lady wants to take it out no matter what. If there is something I love about French culture is that they don't give a shit about happy endings. The bad chick is the same bad chick from Trouble Every Day.

High Tension - This one received wide release in US theaters so you have probably seen it. 

Martyrs - Young lady is pissed about her abused past and is back for a vengeance. Guess what? More blood.

Them - Not a lot of blood. Actually, I do not think there is any blood. But what you don't see can scare you. Especially if we are talking about kids scaring people just for kicks.

Sheitan - Insane and over the top. Vincent Cassel stars as a fucking weirdo who has lots of weirdo friends and loves to torment people. Especially, if those people are horny douchebags.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Lost Art of Record Shopping - NETWORK OF FRIENDS VOL.2

My buddy wasn’t up for food this noon so instead of heading over to the Chinese buffet I frequent when in lonely lunches I decided to hit the record store. It’s a little ways away but today is Friday and us 9-2-5’ers know that lunch breaks on that day can be twice as long without fear of any repercussions.
Waiting for me at the counter was the man with no soul. This time, as he saw me walking in he said really fast, ‘hey, how is it going?’. He seemed to be hiding behind three piles of CD’s and was scribbling in a notebook.  NOFX was playing in the speakers. I went directly to the book section which is huge but found nothing worth my money so I headed to the vinyl section.
My budget was $12 and while I was driving to the store I still had the Skid Row vinyl in mind. A few months ago I had seen an old Anvil record there so I started alphabetically but the Anvil record was nowhere to be seen.    Whoever manages this store has to stop buying crap because its shelves are so packed with vinyl your fingers can barely shuffle thru them. This makes buying difficult and missing hidden gems easy. As I got to the letter C a black and white cover struck me. The girl on the cover reminded me of Jean Seberg. It was by a band called Contaminators, the label was called Going Underground and its price was affordable. $5.99. I asked the man with no soul if he knew what it was. He said he didn’t and asked me if I wanted him to play it. ‘How nice!’. I thought to myself and handed the record to him.
The music started playing but he never bothered to push Stop on the NOFX CD, which was playing on a small boombox. Still, the volume of Contaminators overcame. It was punk rock. Decent punk rock. No pop pretensions. No budget either. Just kind of how I like it. So I kept on searching for records but my stream of consciousness processing was then interrupted by the annoying shifting between 33 and 45 RPM’s.  Back and forth. Back and forth. What the fuck was he doing?. Maybe he didn’t know how the music was supposed to sound like but he did this for about a minute and then lifted the needle.
‘Do you want hear more of this?’, he asked. He looked annoyed by the noise. 
‘No,’ I said. ‘Not if you are going to be such a dick,‘ I thought.
Maybe it was not intentional. Maybe he truly did not know how to tell whether this record had to be played at 33 or 45 RPM’s so he just played it at both. For like a minute.
I really wanted to get out of the store by then. I was the only one there and wanted to leave the man with no soul alone. Maybe he needed to think. He needed to clear his mind. As I got to the letter E, I found a double vinyl titled Network of Friends Vol 2. The price was $8.99. It looked good. It looked obscure. Bands such as Raw Power, Kafka Prosess, Neuroot, Negazione and about twenty-seven more were included. I couldn’t go wrong, right? The record shopaholic in me wanted more though so I headed to the S section where after a couple of minutes of shuffling I found the Skid Row record. Shrinkwrapped. Virginal. Tight. Price? $9.99. I really did not want to spend more than $12 but I was tempted. Then, I looked at the counter. The man with no soul was looking down. Maybe drawing dicks on his notebook or something. The thought of spending more money there made me put the Skid Row record back on the shelf.
As I was paying I pulled out my punch card and handed it to him.
‘No,’ he said. ‘Spend ten dollars and I punch one hole. Get ten holes you get ten dollars of discount on any item in the store.’  
The total price including taxes was about $9.80.  
‘Fucking prick,’ I thought. ‘Can’t you cut me some slack and just punch the fucking thing? I only have five more holes to go’, I thought.   
‘You don’t want the Contaminators record?’, he asked.
‘No,’ I said. Now I was annoyed.
‘Need a receipt?’, he asked.
‘No, thanks.’ I responded. 
Then, I walked out. Quietly.

TAINT Has Broken Up!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

TAINT Has Broken Up!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I rarely remember my dreams but I had a strange one last night. I was at a fancy apartment in a high rise building. The apartment belonged to a friend of mine who in real life  is a broke ass and who in my dream was wearing an expensive suit and was smoking a dick-shaped cigar . There was a fancy party going on and there was barely anybody there. Lots of waiters though.

I had it going. I was drinking whiskey and feeling groovy when I saw Oliver Stone walk in. He had a stunning lady hanging on his arm. I approached him and told him that I loved his movies.

‘Which one?’ , he quickly replied.

‘Platoon’, I said. ‘Fantastic stuff’.

He didn’t look back at me and scanned the party while his head started bouncing to the rhythm of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get Your Out of My Head” which was blaring out of the speakers.

‘What else?’, he then asked.

‘Any Given Sunday’, I replied. ‘Fantastic stuff’. 

Actually, I hate that movie not because it’s bad but because I hate football. It’s a boring sport for fat people. Not that there is anything wrong with fat people. I have actually put on a couple of pounds over the last few years. Anyway, I could not remember any other Oliver Stone movies so I just said Any Given Sunday.

Then, I took a chug of my drink, which for some reason was served in a metallic cup. As I was drinking I noticed something moving in my glass and tickling my face.  A few repulsive ideas crossed my mind and I instinctively threw my glass to the floor and accidentally spat the alcohol all over Stone’s chest. He didn't seem to mind. Then, out of my glass came a strange creature. I would call it a shrider, because it looked like a cross between a shrimp and a spider.  It then started walking in circles and everyone in the party was repulsed. Including Mr. Stone who then looked at me and said,

‘Dude, you are gross’.

Monday, December 6, 2010

OBUS - The Grim Reaper is Going to Stop By

Don't blame these muchachos for doing playback. That's how the game was played in Spain in the 80's.

Not many people knew Obus in my native South America but one day, when I was around twelve years old, this dude with a giant head that used to go to school with me gave me a tape of Obus. I think he had stolen it from a friend of his and since I was the only guy he knew that liked metal he gave it to me. 

The name of the album was called Pega Con Fuerza, which translates to Strike Hard, and after I gave it a listen at home, I hit play, again and again and again.... 

I was hooked. My mother hated it because my favorite song was called "Te Visitara La Muerte" which translates to Death Will Visit You or The Grim Reaper is Going to Stop By, or something along those lines and I guess that kinda fucked with her Catholic beliefs. I was young and she was already started to worrying about my soul. I love my mother, almost as much as I love this song.

Pay attention to the beginning and notice how someone in the audience throws his jacket up in the air. Also, pay close attention to the bass. I think it used to belong to Gene Simmons. One more thing, the video and the music don't sync up.


Last week I received an envelope with two records from a French label. When I looked at the envelope something caught my attention, the sender's address is listed as Dolph Lundgren Fan Club. Immediately, images of crew cut blond boys in corpsepaint started flashing in front of my eyes.

French black metal guys are known for their stern minds and lack of humor. If this pisses them off I hope they don't feel like they must break me. After all, I come in peace.

EARTH Reveals Details About New Album

EARTH have completed  their highly anticipated upcoming full-length album, which has been a subject of  much discussion over the past two years. Following the band's magnificent  2008-released The Bees Made Honey In  The Lion's Skull opus, the next chapter  in the ongoing EARTH legacy is ready for public consumption. To see release via  Southern Lord Recordings in February 2011, the recently completed new album has  been titled Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1, and promises to be a  brand new entity within EARTH's already impressive and constantly progressing  lineage.

Joining founding  guitarist and band frontman Dylan Carlson and percussionist Adrienne Davies, the  album lineup this time around also includes cellist Lori Goldston (Nirvana,  David Byrne, Black Cat Orchestra, Laura Veirs) and Karl Blau (K Records, Laura  Veirs, Microphones) on electric bass.

Returning to Seattle's Avast Studios in April and July of 2010 to again work with producer  Stuart Hallerman (Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Built To Spill, and Earth2), EARTH's newest  masterpiece shows the band continuing to expand on the Americana  themes represented on The  Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull, and even their incredible 2005 album Hex  (Or Printing The Infernal Method), taking their sound into broad new  directions.

Citing inspiration from  British folk-rock bands the Pentangle and Fairport Convention, as well as North  African Tuareg band Tinariwen this time around, while still maintaining the  thunderous, organic heaviness of previous EARTH releases, the material on Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1 is  more fluid and melodically oriented in nature, relying on more textured patterns and a greater emphasis on improvisational songwriting tactics. This, as well  as the inclusion of cello and other experimentations from the musicians involved, culminate into some unforgettable new hymns.

The album was mastered by Mell Dettmer, who also remastered the recent re-release of EARTH's first recordings in the form of A  Bureaucratic Desire For Extra Capsular Extraction, released by Southern Lord  in late October.

Angels Of Darkness,  Demons Of Light 1
Track  Listing:
1. Old  Black
2. Father  Midnight
3. Descent To The  Zenith
4. Hella's  Winter
5. Angels Of  Darkness, Demons Of Light 1

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I WAS DORA SUAREZ Scared the Shit Out of Me

Death metal bands obsessed with all sorts of graphic brutality and yummy yummy coprophagia, shall start reading some of the books written by English author Derek Raymond. Maybe then, some eloquent germ will infest them and cause them to stop writing lyrics that come off like third rate Cannibal Corpse shit.
I recently started reading I Was Dora Suarez, Raymond’s fourth book in his Factory series, and was instantly taken aback by its explicit nature.  Raymond (whose real name was Robin Cook) slashes our gag reflex within the first few pages. The author goes to incredibly gruesome lengths by detailing the act of killing (and then shitting and masturbating with a bloody dick on top of the corpse) to such a detailed extent, even I –whom I consider to be an individual with a strong stomach-had to stop every few sentences just to catch my breath. And I am only about ten pages into the book. It is that fucking sick! Seriously, this guy makes Dennis Cooper look like Danielle Steel.
As a matter of fact, I Was Dora Suarez is such a morbid book I kind of feel bad just having it in my house. As I read it last night I thought of my three year old daughter and the idea that one day she will find it in my library and think that I am a fucking pervert really disturbed me. The only other book that has made me think this way was the anthology of the Answer Me! fanzine, which was so rampacked with hilarious shit that is wrong at so many levels I started feeling like a pervert.
Musically speaking there are only a couple of records that have made me feel this way. The first one being  Matando Gueros by Brujeria.  The cover is a real image and hence more gruesome than any graphic drawing, but that was not it, it was the lyrics which were in Spanish and hence, screamed in my ear in my native language, caused in me pure repulsion. Also, the vocals of Juan Brujo were not that distorted, they were rough and gruff, but you could easily understand all that’s being screamed. Which is not the same in English, a language that back then I could not understand in its musical context at all and hence, lyrically speaking, could not affect me.
I was already a metal fan, by then. And I never had a problem with the Carcass sleeves but Brujeria had gone too far. That night I told my brother to keep the record out of the room. Its vibes could infect me, I reasoned.

I have outgrowned those judgements by now. Mostly because as a metal fan I have been exposed to such atrocities it is really hard to be shocked anymore. That said, some stuff still does not appeal to me. Like most gore metal is pretty shitty (no pun intended), not only musically but also visually. I can always appreciate a good monster, blasphemy or an atrocious drawing but I think it’s reality that shocks me the most. Which brings me to the second record that made me feel sick. The name of the band escapes me and I am not about go on the hunt just so that you can witness this shit, but it is from a Finnish metal band and in its cover we can find two Japanese school girls, both of whom seem to have been forcefed shit. It looks real, maybe it is not. But who knows? And who digs that stuff anyway?
Needless to say, you do not have to be sick to enjoy having a quick peek into those perversions. As long as it is just a phase you are ok. Or at least that’s what I like to think. As a bored university student I indulged many afternoons visiting the once free pages of Consumption Junction. The mammoth size website for all things fucked up contained thousands of short videos that range from homemade porn to Taliban executions (Daniel Peart video included), self-mutilation and all kinds of deviant shit. It was there that I once saw a video of two naked Japanese girls puking on each other’s mouths. That proved to be too much. I could simply not take it and had to hit pause almost right away. Immediately after that my youthful fascination with fucked up shit started to fade.
Anyway, I got to I Was Dora Suarez just a couple of weeks ago. I was at work listening to music in my Ipod when a song by Gallon Drunk started playing. It sounded good. It sounded really good. I had never heard of this band and I do not recall downloading their music. I am pretty sure it came onto my hard drive one of those nights in which I mechanically download music I know nothing of. Sometimes I compare this process of downloading illegal music to the process of sleepwalking. I am not entirely aware that I am doing it but I sure as fuck am doing it. Anyway, I recommend Gallon Drunk to anyone who misses The Birthday Party. There is not only a sonic connection but leader James Johnston has been part of The Bad Seeds. After I listened to them at work I Googled them, landed on Wikipedia and found out that their music is inspired by this book.

Check it out here.... (((YO SOY DORA SUAREZ))) 

Things That Look METAL But Are Not

I was at the supermarket last Tuesday when I saw something that looked metal for a second. I was shopping for mortadella cause that's like the cheapest meat around you can slap on bread and I hear that it is bound to cause you cancer with all the fucking nitrites they put on it (I've been on a suicidal kick ever since I heard that Messiah Marcolin no longer sports a frizzy hairdo) when I noticed this pot bellied forty-year something sporting a black t-shirt with a logo that at a distance read like a metal logo. Inverted crosses and all.

I was wearing these old contact lenses that I was supossed to trash like six months ago. Every time I put them on I feel like I am on a cloud or in one of those college dorms usually inhabited my Phish lovers, because everything looks misty, and fuzzy and slightly distorted and I was looking at the guy through the corner of my eyes. For a few seconds I could have sworned that the logo was some satanic concoction designed by some underground artist who only wears black and is hip to black and white black metal artwork and shit.

Anyway, it turns out the logo has nothing to do with metal. It is actually the Guy Harvey logo, which Wikipedia tells me was a dude that loved fish and shit... If you squint your eyes maybe you will see what I saw.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MYSPACE Takes a Leap Off a FUCKING Cliff

I apologize for this rant, but it needs to be said. Perhaps the bigwigs out there will come across this little blog and think for a second. The new MySpace sucks. It sucks. Being a little older, I've seen a lot of changes to things I like. Usually, it can be a good thing, but perhaps just as often it ends up being a total fucking disaster. Enter MySpace.

MySpace, or should I say My______ now (seriously), has been known as a trashy site over the past couple of years, with good reason. Just look at any number of "models" who post animated GIFs of themselves dancing over chairs and humping shit while their page's background involves a series of sparkling cartoon animals. You'll get the idea pretty quick. But that's what I loved about it. The thing about MySpace is it let users do what they wanted. Recently, however, in an effort to appeal to a younger audience and compete with Facebook, they created a new system.

Holy shit does it suck. I've used MySpace for years to check out bands, but fat chance I'm going to do that much anymore since I can do it on Facebook, which is now much, much more user friendly. Whereas bands previously could create their page in their image with whatever pictures and silly things they wanted, now MySpace is forcing users to upgrade to a system where you have limited control. You can create banners and things, but not nearly to the extent that you could previously. Everything you do is run through THEIR editor using a handful of options. Now, this is understandable in a way, because it can help to clean up the clutter people create by clogging the site with thousands of pictures, videos, etc. However, at the same time, it eliminates the freeness that made MySpace so great and fun to come to in the first place. Add to this the insult that the company just announced ALL users will be forced to upgrade by November 29th 2010, and you have a recipe for disaster. I've only mentioned design elements so far, but there are SO many more problems.

First, the site is a fucking cluttered mess. They're removing users' ability to paste shit all over the place, but now MySpace has taken the reins for you, except they're cluttering their site and YOUR page with damn annoying advertisements. Where used to be your music player is now a fucking ad, and the player has been moved down so you have to scroll. There goes ease of use for that aspect. Second, load time has been SIGNIFICANTLY increased. I can't figure out why, but somehow MySpace has managed to make loading time for even the most basic of pages about ten fucking times more than it needs to be. How did you manage this? Wasn't this supposed to save bandwidth? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? Finally (and definitely not the end of it, just search on the internet), I'm sick already of MySpace pretending like this change is a good thing with tons of "articles" claiming that people actually like it. Think so, think these reviews are really honest and not paid for? Just type stuff like "new MySpace sucks" or "new MySpace horrible" into a search engine and take a quick glance. EVEN ON THEIR OWN FUCKING FORUMS YOU'LL FIND THE TRUTH. You people don't listen, you just don't listen. This is probably the end.